No one can deny that parenting is one of the toughest yet most exhilarating jobs in existence. Where else can you experience total blood-vessel popping anger, hair-pulling frustration, insomnia-causing agony, and yet heart-melting love? We would give our lives for our children, make sacrifices, reorganize everything to meet their needs, and yet we are still left wondering if it is enough. Should we stay home or work? Daycare or home care? Activities or family time? Where do we cross the line with discipline? How do we know we are doing a good job? No matter what we do, we face parental guilt. Are our choices the right ones? Could we have made better ones? Are we harming our children through the choices we’ve made?
All the hugs and kisses, pictures and snuggles cannot overcome this guilt. All it takes is one set of tears at a choice made and all the fears and doubts come flying back. Do you take a promotion even if it means putting your children back into daycare, which they do not want? I had to face this issue when I was forced to decide between a promotion that would put me back to full time or staying in my current less-than-full-time role. The promotion was what I was brought into the company to do, while if I stayed in my current role, I would have been training my new manager. To compound the issue, I had literally just negotiated the less-than-full-time schedule not six weeks earlier because of my issues with daycare. My kids cried and begged me not to accept the promotion but to decline the opportunity was to risk career suicide. Do you risk career suicide to keep your children out of daycare? Are you supposed to sacrifice your career for your children? When do we stop making sacrifices for our kids and start looking out for ourselves?
For each parent, the answers are different, and there is definitely no one-size-fits-all answer. I still question whether I made the right decision, especially in light of the new job description and some other political happenings at work. Sometimes, we’ll get it right and sometimes, we won’t. All we can do is make the choices that best fit everyone’s needs, try our best, and hope. In the end, that is the one element of parenting that never changes.
All content on this blog is protected under US copyright by Michelle Shannon. All content is original and cannot be copied without permission. Copyright That’s What She Read 2009-2013
I have an affiliate relationship with several bookstores, including Powell’s Books and IndieBound. All affiliate income is used to support the blog.